Misha Green Shares What Could've Been for Multi-Emmy-Nominated Lovecraft Country, Which Was Canceled

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The Root 14 July, 2021 - 02:00pm 13 views

When are the Emmys?

When are the Emmys and how can I watch? The awards ceremony will air Sept. 19 on CBS (8 EDT/5 PDT) and streams live on Paramount+. The show will return to a live format, broadcast from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and will include "a limited audience of nominees and their guests," according to an announcement. USA TODAYEmmys 2021: Everything to know about TV's big awards show, including when to watch, who's competing

When do Emmy nominations come out 2021?

When are the nominations announced? Nominees were announced on Tuesday, July 13 at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET. CNETEmmys 2021: Date, start time, nominations and how to watch online

You know what else is keeping it alive? The fact that it fucking scored 18 total Emmy nominations on Tuesday, per the official HBO press release sent to The Root. Naturally, fans once again questioned HBO’s decision to end the show, now that it has so much extra-elite acclaim.

“Just going to leave this right here,” Misha tweeted. The outline showed a potential arc for the series, including a list of fresh and returning characters dubbed “The New Generation” and “The Old Generation.”

Yep, that table is shooketh! In fact, Misha has been about that action because she actually shared key details of the show bible right after the cancellation was announced earlier this month with the caption, “A taste of the Season 2 Bible. Wish we could have brought you #LovecraftCountry: Supremacy. Thank you to everyone who watched and engaged.”

“[It] begins in a new world, and that new world is a country that sits where The United States used to sit,” the Underground creator tweeted, referencing the Sovereign States of America as she also shared a map of a divided United States, including new areas for “Tribal Nations of the West,” the “Whitelands,” the “New Negro Republic,” and the “Jefferson Commonwealth.”

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Emmys 2021 snubs: 'Girls5Eva,' Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke and more

USA TODAY 14 July, 2021 - 07:06pm

The 2021 Emmy nominations were announced Tuesday, but these shows and stars shockingly missed out.

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USA TODAY TV Critic Kelly Lawler reveals who got snubbed and why "Emily in Paris" shocked her with the 2021 Primetime Emmy nominations. USA TODAY

Sometimes it's not hard to wonder what the Emmy voters were thinking. 

The Emmy nominations were announced Tuesday, and series ranging from "The Crown" to "The Mandalorian" to "Emily in Paris" were nominated for TV's biggest awards. 

But for all the worthy nominees, there are plenty of shocking omissions from the list. This year is no different when it comes to snubs, as critically acclaimed and fan-favorite series and actors were left off the list, from Nicole Kidman in HBO's "The Undoing" to Peacock's delightful musical comedy, "Girls5Eva." 

And they're not the only big names missing from the list. Because of production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some favorites from last year's ceremony aren't eligible because they didn't air new episodes in the June 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021, eligibility window. So while fans may be wondering where nominations are for "Succession," "Ozark," "Stranger Things," "Better Call Saul," "Killing Eve," "The Morning Show" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," they simply didn't have anything to put up for contention.

Cedric the Entertainer will host the Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 19 on CBS (8 EDT/5 PDT) with a more traditional in-person ceremony than we saw last year when Jimmy Kimmel helmed a virtual awards show on ABC. Until then, here are the most shocking, egregious and saddening snubs on the 2021 Emmy nominations list: 

Despite earning an Emmy for her first season of HBO's "Big Little Lies," the Oscar-winning actress was overlooked for her performance in the premium cable network's buzzy crime drama "The Undoing." Her co-star, Hugh Grant, managed to make the list. 

Despite mountains of critical acclaim, an addictive soundtrack and power producer Tina Fey behind it, this Peacock sitcom about a 1990s girl pop group reuniting couldn't break through in the comedy category. Even more outrageously, Goldsberry didn't make it into the comedy actress category (although she did get a nod for supporting actress in a limited series or movie for Disney+'s "Hamilton"). 

Netflix's sexy, beloved Regency-era drama from producer Shonda Rhimes managed a nod for drama series and lead actor in a drama series (Regé-Jean Page), but lead actress Dynevor will not be joining her Duke in the nominees' circle. 

Hawke had a powerhouse performance as abolitionist John Brown in Showtime's miniseries "The Good Lord Bird," but he didn't make it into the lead actor in a limited series or TV movie category, which was stacked with two actors from Disney+'s "Hamilton": Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. 

The veteran actors played James Comey and former President Donald Trump, respectively, in Showtime's political thriller "The Comey Rule." The TV Academy usually loves topical limited series, so it's a big surprise that both actors were left out in the acting categories, although each received Golden Globe nominations early this year. 

The canceled-too-soon musical comedy and two-time winner of USA TODAY’s Save Our Shows poll was forecasted by some Emmy experts to ride the wave of fan support (and grief) for the show to nominations for best comedy and lead actress for star Jane Levy. Unfortunately, all the great dance routines and jukebox hits in the world couldn't help “Zoey’s” stay alive or capture Emmy gold. 

The “Cheers” and “The Good Place” actor is no stranger to the Emmy awards, so many thought his turn as the freewheeling mayor of Los Angeles in NBC’s “Mr. Mayor” might see him showing up on the red carpet in a tuxedo once again. But Emmy voters weren’t charmed by his fictional mayor nearly as much as LA was.

Despite doing some of his best work during a pandemic year that forced late-night hosts to go home and do shows without studio audiences, Seth Meyers and his NBC series were left out of the variety talk category yet again. 

Amazon's brutal and gorgeous limited series "The Underground Railroad," from director Barry Jenkins, managed a nod in the overall limited series category. But it seems slightly counterintuitive to honor the show without honoring Mbedu, the lead actress who shepherded it to success. With a less capable lead, "Underground" could have been a mess. 

According to the Emmy voters, only two variety sketch series were worthy of a nomination: "Saturday Night Live" and "A Black Lady Sketch Show." As great as both are, this limited number of nominations shut out great work in this genre, from Showtime's deliriously funny "Ziwe" to Peacock's smart and salty "Amber Ruffin" to HBO's irreverent "How to." All three were deserving of nominations. 

HBO Max's British import was a long shot for the limited series category, but it doesn't mean its exclusion is any less infuriating. The drama followed a group of young friends in London at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and received a great deal of critical acclaim, including from this critic

Apple TV+ received a truckload of nominations (20) for cheery soccer comedy "Ted Lasso," but the streamer's best drama didn't manage to rocket into the major categories. An alternate history story about what would have happened if the Soviet Union beat the U.S. to the moon, the series is ambitious and stirring, but perhaps not loud enough to be an Emmy contender. 

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The Emmy nominations actually reflect some of this year’s best TV (with a few ‘Emily in Paris’-type exceptions)

The Washington Post 14 July, 2021 - 07:06pm

The Emmys — which will air Sept. 19 on CBS aren’t exactly a reliable barometer for excellence, with too many smaller shows, like “P-Valley” and “Philly D.A.,” falling through the cracks. The best case that can be made for the awards in 2021, when the TV landscape has been irreparably fragmented not just by demographics but by subscriber base, is that it helps solidify a reigning canon of water-cooler shows. And if the goal is to help TV become a community-building medium again, the 2021 slate of nominations are more than sufficient, collecting the highlights of the past year on TV and reflecting how scattered they are across various channels and services.

The once stodgy Television Academy, which votes on the Emmys, continued its recent trend of recognizing new hits and zeitgeist-capturing programming. Whereas breakout series once had to wait until their sophomore seasons for the Emmys to take notice, first-season shows like “Ted Lasso,” “Bridgerton” and “Hacks” had no trouble distinguishing themselves this year. (It may have helped that academy voters, like the general public, watched a lot more TV in the past year because of quarantine.) Other pop-cultural phenomena heeded by the Emmys: “Hamilton” (Disney Plus), “Bo Burnham: Inside” (Netflix), “Oprah With Harry and Meghan” (CBS) and the “Friends” reunion on HBO Max (though notably not the genuinely news-making “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion on the same platform).

Game of Thrones” may have left behind a permanent change to the Emmys’ drama category. Based on this year’s nominees, at least, science fiction and fantasy seem to have shed entirely the longtime perception of their being lesser genres. Four rather different sci-fi shows made the cut this year: the superhero dystopia “The Boys” (Amazon Prime), the feminist nightmare “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the Star Wars space western “The Mandalorian,” and the race-conscious road-trip series “Lovecraft Country” (HBO). The rest of the drama nods went to period pieces: the Austen-on-steroids “Bridgerton,” the time-hopping weepie “This Is Us” (NBC), the Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher chapter of “The Crown,” and the recently concluded final season of “Pose” (FX), which racked up nods for its stars Billy Porter and Mj Rodriguez, the first lead trans actress to nab an Emmy nod. Next year, though, expect the return of the iron fist of 2020’s victor, the Murdoch-inspired family saga “Succession” (HBO).

In recent years, category fraud and wildly disparate tastes in humor have made the Emmys comedy race a site of unchecked chaos. This year is no different, with a network stalwart like “Black-ish” going head to head against new favorites like the “Karate Kid” sequel “Cobra Kai” (Netflix) and the American-in-England soccer comedy “Ted Lasso,” as well as niche critical darlings like the standup dramedy “Hacks” (HBO Max) and the puberty cringefest “PEN15” (Hulu).

I still don’t know a single soul who watches the Michael Douglas headliner “The Kominsky Method,” nor anyone who unironically binged the blandly aspirational yet scandal-plaguedEmily in Paris.” Yet both were nominated alongside the extremely fun (and extremely not a comedy) murder mystery “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max). But even with the biggest proportion of streaming shows among the Emmy’s three major categories (drama, comedy and limited/anthology series), the comedy race apparently found Peacock a bridge too far, with no nods for the instantly beloved pop satire “Girls5eva,” with its breakout star, Renée Elise Goldsberry, receiving her sole nomination for “Hamilton.” Nor was there any rekindled affection for the muted (and self-indulgent) third season of “Master of None” (Netflix), a former Emmys favorite, which perhaps pivoted too far from its original concept for academy voters to remember why they fell in love in the first place.

The late-night category became all-male once again, with “Conan” supplanting “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” in the talk-show race alongside “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.” Notably, the two high-profile female-centric entrants into the late night world, “Ziwe” and “The Amber Ruffin Show,” chose to compete in the variety sketch series category, which only anointed two nominees anyway: “Saturday Night Live” and the frequently hilarious but fatally outmatched “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO).

But female protagonists had a lock on the limited or anthology series race, a notably somber category that had trauma as a through line among the nominees. Genre-bending shows like the sexual-assault meditation “I May Destroy You” and the sitcoms-and-superheroes mash-up “WandaVision” (Disney Plus) made up the lighter end of a category that also included the small-town crime drama “Mare of Easttown” (HBO), the chess-prodigy tale “The Queen’s Gambit” and Amazon Prime’s harrowing slave-fugitive drama “Underground Railroad” (the only one of these shows to not have its lead actress nominated).

And while The Undoing” may have given HBO its biggest ratings since “Big Little Lies,” the anticlimactic mystery was snubbed, as was star Nicole Kidman (though co-star Hugh Grant received a nod). Also unrecognized were “Small Axe” (Amazon Prime), which may have suffered from category confusion, especially with promotional materials calling it a series of five films, and the truly transcendent John Brown bio-series “The Good Lord Bird,” which boasted an equally impressive (and equally ignored) lead performance by Ethan Hawke.

Unsurprisingly, two buzzy documentaries about fame and femininity — the Woody Allen reexamination “Allen v. Farrow” (HBO) and “Framing Britney Spears: The New York Times Presents” (FX) — also received nominations.

It would’ve been an embarrassment to have missed the trigger for one of the biggest showbiz stories in ages. Thankfully, the academy seems to have been just as rapt as the rest of us were.

18 Emmy nominations for HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' give it a dubious distinction

NBC News 14 July, 2021 - 07:06pm

For all its monsters and special effects, the focus of “Lovecraft Country” was unapologetically racial: The violence was based on historic incidents.

The show, which follows protagonist Atticus as he searches for his missing father across the landscape of 1950s America, featured fantastic acting, and I lived for Jurnee Smollett’s wardrobe. Most of the plotlines were compelling and intriguing. However, like many shows in the sci-fi/horror genre, the storylines could meander, and plot points were sometimes confusing.

In other words, it didn’t deserve 18 Emmy nominations — but it also didn’t deserve to be canceled. “Lovecraft Country” was a groundbreaking show in its genre with an important message about who the real monsters in America are: white hegemons. It wasn’t only entertaining and thought-provoking: It also drew attention to America's racial atrocities in a way that used America's own gothic traditions — challenging and subversively transforming them.

As Atticus searches for his father, he encounters supernatural monsters and learns that he might have an important role to play in an ancient ritual. Like the superior “Watchmen,” the show also incorporates historical events, such as the murder of Emmett Till, combining real-life racial horrors with supernatural ones.

The Lovecraft of the title refers to H.P. Lovecraft, a visionary writer who was born in Rhode Island in 1890. Lovecraft was known for creating fantasy worlds and frightening creatures that boggled the imagination. Lovecraft was also a racist — and his stories are full of racism. In his work, Lovecraft always seemed to be saying that immigrant and nonwhite populations were just as horrific as the monsters in his stories — and that only white men could vanquish them.

“Lovecraft Country” took Lovecraft’s racism, tackled it and transformed it, reclaiming those mythic creatures for Black audiences. The show is based on the book “Lovecraft Country” by Matt Ruff, a novel that explores the connection between racism and Lovecraft’s world throughout Atticus’ journey across America.

Misha Green, who adapted Ruff’s book for the HBO show, said she was “aware of the ‘blatant racist things’” in Lovecraft’s original stories, TheWrap reported. However, Green was “intrigued” by what Ruff had done in his book — recovering the stories and showing the “realities of racism in a way that appreciates Lovecraft’s work without glorifying it.” Basically, the show said his monsters belong to everyone.

This endeavor is particularly important because of the evolution of race in the sci-fi and horror genres. Initially, people of color were the monsters. Things shifted a bit with George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968, in which the Black protagonist, Ben (played by Duane Jones), is portrayed as a hero. However, Black bodies were still exploited and often experienced visceral, gory acts of violence as disposable characters. With hit movies like Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” in 2017, we are entering a new, exciting phase in horror that grounds Black stories and prioritizes Black characters.

In her 2011 academic study “Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films From the 1890s to Present” (also made into a documentary), Robin R. Means Coleman traces the trajectory of Black representation in horror and suggests there is something particularly powerful about this genre in that it allows for Black voices to reclaim their own stories and challenge racism.

For all its monsters and special effects, the focus of “Lovecraft Country” was unapologetically racial: The violence was based on historic incidents, and the characters were traumatized by living in America — not by fighting supernatural creatures.

Leah Richards, an English professor at LaGuardia Community College who focuses on horror, wondered whether the HBO producers who pulled the plug were looking for something more fully in the fiction camp. Perhaps “executives wanted Lovecraftian horror without the overt racism,” she suggested. “Instead they had to confront history they’d successfully ignored, racial violence they'd relegated to a more distant and abstract past and Black characters being haunted by that past and brutalized in their present to an extent that defied imagination until the series imagined it for us.”

Every so often, a show comes along that fans love and many critics praise but executives don’t know how to handle as it takes on a life of its own. Maybe HBO greenlighted a project it ended up feeling too uncomfortable about to continue and the Emmy judges felt guilty such a promising show got canceled.

While in the end, neither side got it right — the series should be continued but not venerated with 18 Emmy nominations — at least its distinctive demise is a reminder that pathbreaking creative work should be given a second look before being dismissed.

Patricia Grisafi, Ph.D., is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, Salon, Vice, LARB, Catapult, SELF, Narratively, The Rumpus, Business Insider and elsewhere. She lives in New York City with her husband, son and two rescue pit bulls.

Why Ted Lasso's Brendan Hunt Isn't Intimidated by the Show's 20 Emmy Nominations - E! Online

E! Online 14 July, 2021 - 01:04pm

Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso brought in a whopping 20 nominations, including three nods for Hunt, who plays the titular character's taciturn right hand Coach Beard. And, while he did call his nominations for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series surprising, he seemed relatively unfazed by the award show news.

In fact, Hunt, who co-created the laugh-out-loud comedy, revealed he learned of the nomination while tending to his five-month-old son. "It was me in the living room with my Cheerios and a coffee," he exclusively told E! News. "Because he gets up, he goes down, now he's up again, his mom has put him in his Diamond Dogs onesie, which is delightful. So yeah, just sitting there watching."

And no, the accolades don't have him feeling worried about how this impacts Ted Lasso season two—or beyond. "I don't think it adds any pressure," he said. "We just sat down and tried to make the best show we could. And then, stuff like this is stuff that's out of our control completely. It's like the world responding to us and it's very gratifying but, there's no reason to let it affect anything that we do."

Come the actual 2021 Emmys, though, he may not be as chilled out. If the show does win big, he'll let his colleagues take center stage. "I mean, in the categories where I'm with the other fellas, I'm pretty confident I'm not gonna get anywhere near that microphone," he joked. "If I'm moving for it, it means I'm already drunk."

For more of Hunt and the rest of the Ted Lasso cast, catch the season two premiere July 23 on Apple TV+.

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Emmys 2021: 'WandaVision' and 'Hamilton' set records and other snubs and surprises from this year's nominees

Yahoo Entertainment 13 July, 2021 - 02:54pm

Marvel’s first big streaming series collected a whopping 23 nominations, including lead actor nods for its stars, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, as well as Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series — and yes, the show picked up a Supporting Actress nomination for scene-stealing villain Kathryn Hahn as well as a nod for her earworm theme song, "Agatha All Along." The nine-episode series finished just behind fellow Disney+ nominee The Mandalorian, which received 24 nods for its second season. (The Mandalorian tied with Netflix’s perennial nominee, The Crown, for most nominations overall.) 

But Olsen and Bettany won't be the only heroes making waves at this year's Emmys. Mj Rodriguez — the breakout star of FX's beloved series, Pose, which recently concluded its third and final season — became the first transgender performer in TV history to be nominated for an acting statue. Rodriguez was nominated alongside Uzo Aduba, Jurnee Smollett, Olivia Colman, Emma Corin and Elisabeth Moss in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. 

In a statement provided to Yahoo Entertainment, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis described her nomination as a "breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of Pose." (The series received nine nods overall, including a third nomination for Billy Porter and its second nomination for Outstanding Drama Series.) 

Here is Yahoo Entertainment's round-up of the biggest surprises and snubs from the 2021 Emmy nominations. 

Wanda and Vision often seemed like afterthoughts among the Avengers, but once they went solo, they soared to great heights. During its run on Disney+, WandaVision was enthusiastically praised for the way it incorporated serious themes of grief and loss into a sitcom-laced superhero series — and all that praise translated into a super-showing at the Emmys. (It's worth noting that the show's nomination in the "Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series" means a second season is unlikely — something that Olsen herself has repeatedly said.) And WandaVision won't be the only "tights and flights" series represented at this year's ceremony. Season 2 of Amazon's The Boys earned a surprise spot among the Outstanding Drama Series nominees, one of five nods the R-rated comic-book–inspired series picked up overall.  

WandaVision may have had Emmy voters glued to Disney+, but two other Avengers didn't leave the same impression. Marvel's other big streaming series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, failed to land any major nominations, although Don "War Machine" Cheadle received an Outstanding Guest Actor nod for his two-minute cameo in the first episode, something that left even Cheadle puzzled.

Everyone loves Hamilton... but not everyone loves that the recorded version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway smash picked up 12 Emmy nominations, including a surprise Outstanding Actor nod for the creator himself. Under Emmy rules, Hamilton — which premiered on Disney+ last summer — was eligible for both the Variety Programming category and Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, and the Tony-winning cast promptly received a slew of nominations that might otherwise have gone to performers from underrepresented shows like The Underground Railroad and Small Axe. As you might imagine, eyebrows were raised on Twitter. 

Only two weeks after HBO announced that Misha Green's acclaimed horror series, Lovecraft Country, wouldn't be getting a second season, Emmy voters gave the network a reason to reconsider that decision. The show picked up 18 nominations, including nods for its in-demand stars, Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors, who are the first two Black leads in Emmy history to be nominated from the same series. Along with Hamilton, Lovecraft Country was a big win for diversity, breaking records for Emmy recognition of actors of color. 

Unfortunately, the Comedy nominees proved a little more monochrome. Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross picked up her fifth nod in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series — the only Black performer among the nominees. Among the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series nominees, there were only two actors of color: Ross's co-star, Anthony Anderson, scored his seventh nomination, while Kenan Thompson earned his first for Kenan. Left out of the running were such funny and diverse performances as Jana Schmieding in Rutherford Falls, Charlotte Nicdao in Mythic Quest and the cast of We Are Lady Parts. Luckily, the supporting comedy categories recognized performers like breakout SNL star Bowen Yang and Ted Lasso's Nick Mohammed, which helped raise the overall diversity of this year's crop of acting nominees. 

The show that Twitter loves to hate got some Emmy love: Netflix's frothy fish out of water comedy scored only two nominations, but one of them happened to be Outstanding Comedy Series. That nod follows the Golden Globes controversy earlier this year when the show was nominated for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy even after reports emerged that the streaming service flew members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to Paris for a lavish junket. 

No cheap shots here: Netflix's buzzy Karate Kid sequel, Cobra Kai, earned its first Original Comedy Series nomination with a third season that was big on fan favorite callbacks and crowd-pleasing plot twists. All other '80s hits planning a latter-day reboot clearly need to study at this show's dojo. 

Since two of Nicole Kidman's previous HBO originals — Big Little Lies and Hemingway & Gellhorn — have brought her Emmy recognition, many expected The Undoing to add a third nomination to her list of accolades. But those hopes were undone when the divisive series picked up only two nods, one of which was for her co-star, Hugh Grant, who has been giving some of the best interviews of his career while on the campaign trail.  

Contrary to the title of his hit podcast, Conan O'Brien doesn't need any more friends at the Emmys. The outgoing late night host picked up an Outstanding Variety Talk Series nod for the final season of his TBS series, Conan — his first recognition in the category since 2011 after the show's first year. And speaking of friends, Courteney Cox finally broke her own Friends curse. The actress was the only cast member who never received a nomination during the run of the NBC series, but she's now in the Emmy club thanks to HBO Max's Friends: The Reunion. Cox is among the executive producers of the hit special, which is nominated for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded). Could we be any more excited for her? 

Emmy-winning father-daughter duo Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”) and Jasmine Cephas Jones (“Blindspotting”) announced the nominations for this year’s Emmy Awards on Tuesday morning. HBO and HBO Max combined to take in a leading 130 total nominations, followed closely behind by Netflix with 129. Disney Plus had a significant jump from last year with […]

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Lovecraft Country

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